skip to main content

H.R. 6589 (115th): Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 26, 2018 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.

Summary of this bill

If you use marijuana legally according to your state’s law, should you still be barred from federal employment?


Eight states plus the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. Potentially several more states such as Michigan and Oklahoma will potentially join them later this year, as November ballot referenda.

However, the drug remains illegal on a federal level. It’s categorized as a Schedule I drug, the same as heroin — and a stricter classification than cocaine.

The only reason state legalization has been allowed to proceed at all is because both the Obama Justice Department starting in 2013 and Trump Justice Department starting in April announced they …



2d Session

H. R. 6589


July 26, 2018

(for himself and Mr. Ferguson) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform


To amend title 5, United States Code, to remove limitations on Federal employment for an individual legally using marijuana under the law of the State in which the individual resides, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act.


Federal employment and individuals using marijuana in compliance with State law


In general

Subchapter I of chapter 33 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:


Federal employment and individuals using marijuana in compliance with State law


An individual whose residence is in a State where that individual’s private use of marijuana is not prohibited, who is tested under a drug testing program of any Executive agency without probable cause to believe that the individual is under the influence of marijuana, who tests positive for past marijuana use (determined by the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol or marijuana metabolite in the sample provided by the individual), and, in the case of an individual whose use of marijuana was for medical purposes, who is able to provide documentation (in such form and manner as the Office of Personnel Management may prescribe) attesting to the lawful nature of such use under the law of the State, may not, based solely on such positive test, be—


denied employment at an Executive agency; or


if the individual is an employee of the Executive agency, subject to any other adverse personnel action.


For purposes of this section—


the term Executive agency has the meaning given that term in section 105, and includes the United States Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission;


the term marijuana means marihuana (as such term is defined in section 102(16) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(16)));


the term individual does not include any individual applying for or occupying a position at an Executive agency which requires a top secret clearance or access to a highly sensitive program (as that term is defined in section 3001(a)(4) of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (50 U.S.C. 3341(a)(4))); and


the term State means any State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or any other territory or possession of the United States.



Clerical amendment

The table of sections for such subchapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 3330e the following:

3330f. Federal employment and individuals using marijuana in compliance with State law.